Protein is one of the most important nutrients your body needs. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or building muscle, no one can argue what the benefits or protein are.
But, if protein is really very important for our health and overall physique, how much protein do you really need?
In this article, I will hope to answer all of the questions regarding how much protein do you really need. I will answer those questions in different fields: from weight loss to bodybuilding, or just living a sedentary life in general.
Let’s start first with how much protein do you really need when just living life in general.
When I refer to “living a sedentary life”, what I meant by that is just living your life as usual and you’re not following any diet or exercise program.
If you just want to live your life as you would, aim to have at least 0.45 grams/lb of body weight.
So, for example, your current body weight is 150 lbs. You will need about 67.5 grams of protein per day in order to meet your “minimum” protein requirement.
If you’re trying to lose weight, however, you will need to have more than that. You see, people are often ill-informed about the function of protein.
Most “health gurus” say that if you’re trying to lose weight that you should consume lesser protein. But the opposite is actually true.
You actually need to eat more protein than you would living a sedentary lifestyle. Why is that? Because, if you’re trying to lose weight, you break down fat tissue and muscle tissue. So, without enough protein, you will lose weight AND lose muscle mass, which is something that you do not want in the long run.
So, if you’re going to lose weight, aim to consume at least 0.6 grams of protein per pound of weight. You can even consume as much a 1.2 grams of protein per pound of weight, provided that you not only eat the right kinds of foods but you’re also active as well.
If you’re overweight or obese, though, you may want to cut down on the protein. You do this by thinking of your ideal weight. Say, you currently have 250 lbs. If you want to achieve a 170-lb body, aim to consume 170 lbs of protein per day.
For bodybuilders and people who want to develop muscle in general, aim to consume at least 1 gram per pound of body weight. You can even go as much as 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, but that really isn’t necessary.
For healthy food choices, aim to eat chicken breast (without the skin), lean cuts of beef, and fish. I personally love eating beef and fish as they are rich sources of protein and they only have a few calories as well.
So, if you’re looking to lose weight or build muscle, aim to eat the necessary protein requirement your body needs.